Criminal Justice is so important as in federal and provincial and territorial departments of the government in aboriginal justice. There is an involvement of the community to participate in decision making and this largely includes needs of the community and demands of politics. The self government justice of the aborigines has so many contradictions related and found in the justice of literature. The aboriginal discourse is as a result of political and jurisdictional level making an egalitarian ethos in the communities.Dion stout argument is based on the individual and community option for participating in development which is very practical in diverse communities making it an indigenous elite path.
Douglas Sanders stated that politicians couldn’t oppose aboriginal issues publicly in Canada.
Cairns stated that inspiration was by the desire to find reform proposals compatible with the self government rubic instead of the urban aboriginal problems.
There is a lot of dilemma in provincial, federal and territorial government of aboriginal people in Canadian correctional institutions.
There is a research about search for justice that was done in four Canadian cities and these include,
James Bay community research which took place for eighteen months and this was done for the purpose of getting information which would help to improve the criminal, civil and family justice needs and their communities.
The second research was the Yukon First Nation research was done in the Yukon Territory which was a government initiative to find the First Nations justice needs as well as good program and policy development. This included analysing the court and police information in order to find out the kind of offences and cases that were being presented to the police and what the court and police reaction was to these cases.
The third research was the Inner City Research which was more emphasized on four cities mostly concentrating on the fact that class was the main factor but not race in the determination of criminal justice in that aboriginals at the bottom of the social economic scale are most vulnerable .They went on interviewing people in streets, inner city social clients and criminal justice agencies. So this research was mostly based on personal, background and criminal justice characteristics of aborigines in the inner city areas. This research found out that people in the cities left their reserves due to lack of opportunities and family relationships in that there are little opportunities that are not connected to family.
Mass Communication for example phones, televisions, radios have been made facts of life for example radio bingo which has replaced gatherings and television has helped to replace social gatherings. There is also the video which these days can facilitate the viewing of what is happening in the outside world. So mass communication has helped alter and change people socialy.Wages and education have also helped change relationships within and between families and among men and women too. But this practice may be restricted to only nuclear family type.
There were divisions in communities according to two researches conducted. The differences involved acceptance of traditional values and individualism versus collectivism, differances between people who drink and those who don’t drink and religion differences. The family and individual divisions were as a result of access to employment and housing opportunities.
Social and economic conditions in the communities in Canada include high un employment, lack of resources and opportunities and low education levels. This eventually leads to a large number of unskilled, uneducated and unemployed youths. There is also a problem of family violence, alcoholism, abuse, crime and suicide problem. These have changed and altered family and community relationship as a result of peer pressure on the youth groups. A Yukon prosecutor recently sated that job training and education should be supported by the government on bigger fronts.
In the social stratification in contemporary communities, there was an effect of the Indian act which went contrary to gender and age due to the fact that power and status are now through the elected chief and council. Social qualifications that have been previously associated with high status are now displaced by educational requirements. The wage oriented youth is now aware budgets and employment opportunities don’t depend on equality or need.
The impact of state law on local justice includes aboriginal people relying so much on the state law and criminal justice and this was confirmed by the James Bay and Yukon research.
During the Yukon research, people were asked what should be done when the following crimes are committed, murder, sexual assault, when people continue to committee these crimes and when the offenders are in breach of local dispositions. The response of the people to these situations was there should be an external system where by these offenders should be taken although there is a disadvantage with this which is offenders who repeatedly do crime and breach the orders are the majority.
Community state justice has alternatives of which the most prominent one is mediation which is the restoration of social ties providing blue print to the society. There are expressions of justice and these may include participating, healing, enabling and empowerment making justice everyone’s concern. Offenders are made to feel shame at their actions and it’s believed that the aimed result is for the offender, victim and community to reconcile. Due to the fact there is still a problem of unemployment, for the time being, there has been a trial effort made to decrease this by sharing the available and existing opportunities.Commnuity and cultural values may be of great help to the consultation process of the community.Comunity justice is just limited to problems associated with family individuals and civil law. Economic and social values are ignored in the process. The concept of shame should be widened and the kind of treatment which individuals and groups should be accorded.
There si a big difference between guarding interests and common rights of all and fair or impartial application of the law individually. Transformation of communities can only occur when through negotiation and acceptance of justice and values politically and socially.
The best way to deal with crime and other problems in the aboriginal community include community treatment, youth courts, involvement of elders, laying panels and circle sentencing.
Laprairie, C. (1995). Community Justice or Just Community? Aboriginal Communities in Search of Justice. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 37(4), 521-545.